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Overwhelming demand for Strong Families, Strong Students grant program

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Overwhelming demand for Strong Families, Strong Students grant program
Posted at 8:32 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 10:32:54-04

BOISE, Idaho — Parents are showing overwhelming demand for a new state initiative to help offset the costs of online learning. The Strong Families, Strong Students grant program launched one week ago and the state has already received close to 28,000 applications.

Parents can request up to $1,500 dollars per student or $3,500 per family. The money can be spent on anything related to at home, online instruction, like electronics, software, internet or learning materials. The state has set aside $50 million to fund the need-based grants.

The money comes from the federal government, as part of the state's $1.3 billion coronavirus relief package.

"I'll be curious to see how far the money goes. How much need is met? And really where the money is spent within the state," said Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News. "I'm hoping we can get some breakdowns that look at how the money was distributed, district by district, community by community. And I think it will be a really interesting data point as we try and quantify this digital divide that we keep talking about."

You can apply through the Strong Families, Strong Students website until December 8. Grants are need-based, and then first come, first served. You can learn more about the program in this week's Making the Grade interview below.